Re-formed Band Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary In 2012
Four years after Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald left the band to pursue a solo career, he’s now returned for a new album and tour to mark the band’s 20th anniversary in 2012. The move reunites McDonald with original band members keyboardist Dean Sams, drummer Keech Rainwater and lead guitarist Michael Britt, who had continued on with the band and a different lead singer, Cody Collins, following McDonald’s departure. Collins has since parted ways with the band. (Another of the band’s original members in its early days was John Rich, now half of the duo Big & Rich.)
The first announced concert dates for the reunited group will take place overseas, with shows scheduled for Feb. 26-March 4, 2012 in England, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany on a multi-artist bill with Reba McEntire, Little Big Town and Ricky Skaggs. North American tour dates will be announced soon. A new album is also in the works, although no record label deal has been announced.
While the band was together the first time around, it notched nine No. 1 hits including the pop crossover hit “Amazed,” which spent eight weeks at No 1 on the Billboard country chart in 1999. Another big hit, “I’m Already There,” spent six weeks at No. 1 in 2001.
Sams says the reunion followed “a lot of soul searching and long conversations between all of us involved,” adding “We are energized and excited to be writing and recording new music together again.”
Adds Rainwater, “It always seemed like the original Lonestar as a whole was better than the sum of its parts. With Richie back in the band, fans can enjoy new music and again experience the sound they are used to hearing at our shows . . . I am excited to see and hear what comes out of this reunion and upcoming album. I think that having a break for a while, will have sparked new ideas and great music, both live and in the studio.”
Says McDonald of the reunion, “We’ve all tried other avenues and the fact remains that some things were just meant to be. With the Lonestar 20 year reunion approaching, Dean, Michael, Keech and I got together and have decided we have some unfinished business to take care of. I miss those crazy nights running around on stage making music with my band of brothers. Looking forward to a new chapter in the book of Lonestar and reliving some old memories and also making some new ones for the fans that have been loyal to us through thick and thin.”
Illness Forced Her To Miss Two Performances
Loretta Lynn is now recovering at home following her hospitalization in Kentucky over the weekend for pneumonia. That illness forced the cancellation of shows in Ashland, Ky., and Durham, N.C.
According to a statement posted on her Web site today, “Around 1:30 AM Saturday morning, Loretta awoke on her tour bus complaining that she was having a hard time breathing. They admitted her into a Bowling Green, Ky., hospital, where she was treated over the weekend for the beginning stages of bacterial pneumonia. Loretta has been released from the hospital and is now back at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., recovering.”
Lynn said in a statement, “It was one scary night, but I am feeling better and just gonna take it easy for a couple of weeks.”
She is scheduled to resume touring November 3 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Singer Has A Persona Connection To The Sport
Reba McEntire is set to host the annual NASCAR Spring Cup Series Awards Ceremony taking place Dec. 2 during Sprint’s Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas.
McEntire, whose son Shelby is an up-and-coming driver in the racing world, will be master of ceremonies for the year-end awards ceremony, which will be broadcast on SPEED-TV and MRN Radio.
The event will be held at the Wynn Las Vegas, the same casino where Garth Brooks performs in residency.
Band Will Play Stagecoach Festival, Then Launch A Summer Tour
Three original members of groundbreaking ’90s country band the Mavericks have re-formed and are planning a summer 2012 tour of North American and Europe. First, though, Raul Malo (vocals, guitar), Robert Reynolds (bass) and Paul Deakin (drums) will make their debut during the Stagecoach Festival, set for April 27-29, 2012 in Indio, Calif.
The Grammy-winning group hasn’t performed together since their 2003 dissolution. Before then, they’d earned critical acclaim and a loyal following for their fun and energetic live shows. They were named the Country Music Assn.’s vocal group of the year in 1995 and 1996. Also in 1995, they won a Grammy for best country performance by a duo or group with vocal.
Radio success, however, largely eluded them. The band landed 14 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart between 1992 and 2004, but only three cracked the top 20, the most successful of which was “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” which peaked at No. 13 in 1996.
Lead singer Malo says in a press release, “I’m excited to get back together with the band . . . This time out, we’ll get to do things right and finish what we started on our own terms — not subject to the powers that be.”
Reynolds adds, “Time away has really allowed me to miss the guys and the music we made together. We owe it to the fans as a thank you. The thing that saddened me was trying to imagine never playing those songs with my fellow Mavs, and for the fans that showed us such love. Its time to correct that, here we come again.”
And according to Deakin, “I’ve always thought of the Mavericks as one of those bands that had an inexplicable chemistry that resulted in a kind of magic on stage. Possibly the relentless pursuit of fun helped the mojo along. The stage is one of those rare places that you instantly get back what you put out. The Mavericks had a lot of fun putting out over the years. I can't wait to get back on this horse again.”
Singer Is Filling In For Ailing Joshua Scott Jones On Reba McEntire Tour
Singer James Otto is filling in for Joshua Scott Jones of the duo Steel Magnolia opening certain dates on Reba McEntire’s current “All The Women I Am” tour. Jones announced late last month that he’d entered rehab for drug and alcohol treatment, leaving his fiancée and band mate Meghan Linsey on her own for the time being.
Now comes word that Otto has been joining Linsey on select tour dates.
The McEntire tour began Oct. 6, six days after Jones’ rehab revelation.
Says Otto, “When I got the call from Meg, I thought it was a great idea. I thought that our voices would blend really well. I know that our musical tastes are very similar, and we’re coming from the same place . . . Man, who wouldn’t want to be out on tour with Reba McEntire? That was one of those things that, you know, it’s a no-brainer.”
And Otto says he’s enjoying playing for McEntire’s audiences.
“Playing in front of Reba is awesome,” he says. “Her fans, they come there for a show, they come there to be entertained, and if you give ’em all that you have, you go on out there and lay it out there on the line, you feel the love back from ’em . . . Meg and I are really enjoying ourselves playing for that crowd.”
Otto (pictured) formerly recorded for Warner Bros. Records and is best known for his 2007 No. 1 hit, “Just Got Started Lovin' You.”
Hip-Hop Artist Claims ‘Red Solo Cup’ Resembles His Song
For songwriters, it must sometimes seem like it’s not even worth it to get out of bed in the morning knowing that the minute they strike gold with a hit song someone is inevitably going to come out of the woodwork and claim the song was stolen from them.
Last year, Lady Antebellum drew some negative publicity over claims their crossover hit, “Need You Now,” bore melodic similarities to the Alan Parsons Project’s “Eye In The Sky.”
Early this year, the Bellamy Brothers and their publicist did everything they could to stir up a media flap when they made the head-scratching claim that Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” bore a striking similarity to their own 1979 hit, “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.” In that case, the titles and one line in Spears’ song (“If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me”) were where the similarities between the two songs began and ended.
Their efforts backfired when the four writers of Spears’ song retaliated with a lawsuit against the Bellamys in March, accusing the brothers of making defamatory and libelous statements about them, according to Billboard.com.
Now, a talented but obscure (for now) hip-hop artists named Carlton Zeus is attempting to generate the same kind of media attention with claims that Toby Keith’s new album cut and viral video, “Red Solo Cup,” is a rip-off of Zeus’ “Sharpie Solo.” Both songs reference a Sharpie and a Solo cup but, again, that’s where the similarities end other than the fact that both songs are impossibly catchy in their own right, and that both contain some language that’s not safe for work. Keith, incidentally, did not even write “Red Solo Cup.”
But responding to multiple messages from fans claiming Keith “stole” his song, Zeus released an apparently tongue in check video this week where, in between bites of his chicken dinner, he comments that thanks to the controversy, “I got 14,000 views, so I guess I’ll get over it.” Good call. His music video is now well over 31,000 views to date. The chicken dinner clip alone has more than 16,000 views, and now you’ve heard of Carlton Zeus. Mission accomplished.
Singer/Songwriter Supporting 'Ready For Confetti' With Fall/Winter Tour
Joins A Busy Winter Country Touring Scene
The winter touring season just keeps getting busier, with Brad Paisley becoming the latest to announce his “Camobunga! 2012 World Tour,” kicking off Jan. 12 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Opening acts for the tour’s duration will be The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery. Twenty dates have been announced for the first quarter of next year.
In the last few weeks, several other country stars have announced winter tours including Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, and the pairing of George Strait and Martina McBride.
Here’s Paisley’s “dictionary definition” explanation on how he arrived at the tour name:
Camobunga :n; : //kam,bunga/ - The name of a live musical tour experience. A mind-blowing blend of country, fiery ’60s surf guitar acrobatics, futuristic special effects, retro heart and soul, and mind altering liquid beverages. The spirit of the deep woods meets the breakneck excitement of the California coast.
Etymology of the word Camobunga:
camouflage - N: /kamfläZH/ -fabric w/ splotches of green, brown, black and tan, meant to make the wearer of this pattern hard to distinguish from the background (or possibly stand out as a redneck). And Brad Paisley’s latest single.
cowabunga (exclamation): Originated as a greeting by Chief Thunderthud on the ’50s cowboy puppet TV program “The Howdy Doody Show,” was later adopted by surfers in the ’60s.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.